Interdisciplinary Initiatives Program Round 2 – 2002

Alfred Spormann, Civil & Environmental Engineering
Samuel Karlin, no longer at Stanford
Gary Schoolnik, Medicine

In this research, we will explore new interdisciplinary research between experimental microbiologists and bioinformaticians to relate the genomic inventory of two important bacteria to their biological behaviour. The two microorganisms are Vibrio cholerae, the cause of a fatal diarrheal ilness, and Shewanella oneidensis, which is critical for breakdown of numerous organic and inorganic contaminants in many environments.

The core of this collaborative research consists of analyzing microbial responses to defined environmental perturbations using DNA microarray technology and correlating the identified genes with their genomic context using bioinformatics methods. The data obtained will be critical for finding genomic patterns of physiological modules in phylogenetically-related microbes and for predicting functions of not only genes but whole genomes of yet uncharacterized or unknown microorganisms.